Category Archives: toddler

Teddy Bear Pancakes

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My little girl is home sick today, so we were flipping through the cookbook, and her little eyes widened as we turned to the teddy bear pancakes.  How could I say no to that sweet face?  Plus, pancakes on a weekday, so bonus 🙂  All in all, I have to say this is a great recipe to have in my back pocket.  Very little sugar, whole wheat flour (which is immensely surprising for a cookbook written in the ’80’s…)  Hope your kids (big and small) enjoy as much as mind did!

Teddy Bear pancakes

The Recipe (made about 8 good size bears):

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (my addition)

1 egg

1 cup milk

Honey (optional)

Banana slices (optional)

 

The Process:

1.  Heat griddle (or frying pan) to medium heat.

2.  Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and set aside.

3.  Place the all-purpose flour, wheat flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl.  Stir to combine.

4.  Break the egg into the bowl.  Add the melted butter and milk and whisk until incorporated (shouldn’t be any lumps).

5.  Brush the griddle or frying pan with butter to coat evenly.

6.  To make the Teddy shapes, spoon about 1 tablespoon of batter into the center of the pan for the body and then 1 teaspoon above for the head.  With another teaspoon, make the 2 ears, 2 hands, and 2 feet.

7.  Cook over medium heat until small bubbles begin to form on the top.  When golden brown on the one side, flip over and allow the other side to cook, about 2 more minutes.

8.  Repeat till all the batter is gone!

Pro Tip:  Heat the oven to low heat (200 F) and place the finished pancakes on a cookie sheet with a foil cover to keep warm until you’re ready to serve.

Serving Suggestion:  I’m typically pretty boring when it comes to pancakes – maple syrup is enough for me.  However, they recommended honey as a topping, and I thought – what the heck?  So I sliced some bananas, drizzled a little honey over, finished with a dusting of powdered sugar – and holy pancake!  My kid could not eat them fast enough.  Mommy mission “Feel Better” accomplished.

 

Cheater Chili

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Cheater Chili

We’re not huge chili eaters around here.  So I wasn’t super excited when I came across the recipe in the book.  But then, I had a moment of inspiration…what if I used the left over Mini-Meatloafs as the base?  That would save me some cooking time, and use left overs that always get forgotten in the depths of the fridge.  Genius? Maybe, maybe not.  But hey, we ate chili, and it was pretty darn tasty 🙂

Chili

The Recipe (makes 6 servings):

1 medium bell pepper (any color will do)

1 small onion

1 pound lean ground beef (or left over Mini-Meatloafs!)

1 can (14 1/2 oz.) crushed tomatoes

1 can (19 oz.) kidney beans (I actually left these out of my chili)

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin (Cumin and I do not get along, I can’t stand the smell, so omitted this too!) 🙂

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup tomato puree

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 oz. Sharp Cheddar, grated

1 container sour cream

Green onions for garnish, optional

 

The Process:

1.  Chop the bell peppers and onions.  Saute in a sauce pan until tender.

2.  Add the ground beef (or Mini Meatloafs!) to the pan and cook over medium heat until no pink remains.

3.  Empty the can of crushed tomatoes into the pan and stir.

4.  Strain and rinse the kidney beans and add to pan.

5.  Add the chili powder, cumin (yuck), garlic powder, tomato puree and salt to the meat mixture.  Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6.  While the chili is cooking, shred the cheddar (don’t scrape your knuckles!).

7.  When the chili is ready, ladle into bowls and top with grated cheddar, a dollop of sour cream, and green onions if you choose.

It may be cheating, but cheating can be yummy 🙂

Classic Fudge Brownies (with a Peanut Butter twist)

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Here’s your pretty standard fudgy brownie recipe.  I added a little “me” twist by swirling in some yummy peanut butter – just to make them that much more awesome.

Fudge peanut butter Brownie

 

The Recipe

4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips since I had them on hand)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 1/2 teaspoons butter at room temperature

3 eggs

1  1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla (as per usual, I did 2 teaspoons)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup melted peanut butter (optional)

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

 

The Process

1.  Preheat oven to 325 F

2.  Using a double boiler, melt the 1/2 cup butter and chocolate over low heat.  Stir occasionally.  Set aside to cool when completely melted.

3.  Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×12 baking dish.

4.  Break the eggs into the bowl of your mixer.  Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy (around 2 minutes).

5.  Add the cooled chocolate mixture and mix at low speed until incorporated into the sugar mixture.   Add half the flour and mix at low speed until mixed in.  Add the remaining flour (and optional walnuts) and mix until blended.

6.  Pour the batter into the buttered baking dish.  If using the peanut butter option, melt 1/4 cup of peanut butter in the microwave.  Place a dollop of peanut butter at each corner of the pan and 1 dollop in the center.   Using a knife, swirl the peanut butter in an “S” shape from top to bottom, and then side to side.  The tops of these brownies turn out a little light, so the pretty peanut butter swirls got a little lost unfortunately.  But they still tasted amazing!

7.  Place in oven and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes.

8.  If you can…allow the brownies to cool for 15 minutes before diving in.

Choco-holics unite! 

Mini Meatloaf (aka Meat Muffin, aka Meat Cupcake)

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Mini Meatloaf (aka Meat Muffin, aka Meat Cupcake)

Call it what you will, but let’s be honest – it’s a meatball. 🙂  But a darn good meatball!  I followed the recipe almost to a “T”, and it turned out amazing.  The only suggestion I didn’t take was to turn the “meat muffin” upside down when serving so the bacon is on the bottom.  Who in their right mind would hide bacon?!?

*Pro Tip: Place your muffin tin in a dish with higher sides to catch the drippings.  I’ll be cleaning my oven if anyone needs me…sigh…

Personal Mini Meatloaf

The Recipe

2 Tablespoons butter (or cooking spray)

1 medium onion

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1/4 cup bread crumbs (I used Italian seasoned)

1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 Teaspoon salt

1/4 Teaspoon pepper

1 egg

Ketchup

3 slices of bacon, cut into thirds

The Process

1. Preheat oven to 350 F

2.  Lightly butter a muffin tin (or spray lightly with cooking spray)

3.  Finely chop onion.

4.  Place meat in large working bowl.  Add in chopped onion, bread crumbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Break egg into bowl and mix all ingredients by hand until incorporated.

5.  Spoon 1 tablespoon of ketchup into each muffin tin (The recipe calls for 6 meat muffins, I ended up with 7).

6.  Divide the meat mixture evenly into muffin cups (the book kindly reminds us to wash our hands after this step, so don’t forget!)

7.  Place 1 strip of the cut bacon over each meatloaf.

8.  Place the muffin tin on your preferred baking dish (to catch drippings – don’t be like me!!)

9.  Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes.

10.  Remove from oven and serve bacon side up (don’t listen to them and hide the bacon!) Serve alongside your favorite veggies (we had some kale hanging around that was dying to be sauteed).